Wishlists and Shopping Trips

1 Dec

It’s officially post-Thanksgiving, which means its time to shop! I love the holidays and normally I cannot wait to make my wishlist and my shopping list, because inevitably, it’s a chance to ask for those volumes that I didn’t want to buy for myself during the year, and to spread the love for books I couldn’t get enough of. But I find myself in a bit of a quandry this year, bloggy friends. Normally, I have a hard time putting anything other than books on my wishlist. And there’s always a stack of distinctively shaped presents under the tree every year. But this year, I’ve only got one book on my wish list, Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. No joke, I gave my mom my wishlist and she felt my head for a fever (granted, I was actually sick over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend but sadly, this was not a symptom).

I have several theories about why there’s a serious lack of books on my list: 1) Around this time last year, I hadn’t yet dipped into the world of Advanced Reader Copies. I was still acquiring books after publication and in hardcover or via the library. But now, I’m pretty well stocked in terms of books I want to read (or have the energy/time to read) from now until next Christmas (or Christmas of 2050). I’ve also got a lot of newer releases and forth-coming books because of this. I own…so…many….books; 2) I’m overwhelmed. I read lots of reviews of books, both on other book blogs, and on more traditional news outlets, and I’ve gotta say, it’s so hard to narrow down the books that sound good into a list that I actually want to own. I can’t be the only book blogger out the with this problem, can I? 3) If I really want a book that bad, chances are, I bought it for myself already. I’m impulsive; sue me.

So there we are.

I don’t know what to ask for. I’ve been perusing the NYT 100 Notable Books of 2010 and Amazon’s Best Books of 2010 list, but I’m lukewarm. That’s where you come in: recommend books to me. What should I wish for? (You can look at my Goodreads shelves here if you’re wondering what I have already.)

It’s an intriguing problem though isn’t it? Shouldn’t I want books as gifts? I do of course, but there are so many on my shelves now that I haven’t read, and I would feel guilty owning more that will wallow on my shelves, loved but still un-read. What’s on your wishlist?

Despite my admitted book-owning apathy, I’m excited to give books this year. Topping my list of best books to give as gifts include:


And prettiest of all, the Millinium Trilogy Box Set by Steig Larrson. If I didn’t own these three books already, I’d ask for that myself:

What are you giving this holiday season?


10 Responses to “Wishlists and Shopping Trips”

  1. Jessica December 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Well I certainly don’t have your problem here LOL

    Are you able to ask for special nice hardback editions of books you love like those nice penguin hardback classics? I have heard good things about The Lotus eaters from that list.

    I am reading SKippy dies btw the way and am really enjoying it so far!

    • Rachel December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am #

      That’s a great idea, Jessica. I do have quite a few books on my Classics list that I don’t own and would love to have nice copies of.

      Also, good to hear you’re enjoying Skippy Dies. I’m glad it’s on my list now :).

  2. Amanda December 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Actually, I feel exactly the same way. It was extremely difficult to come up with 10 books to put on a wishlist for holiday swaps this year, and I have almost no books on my wishlist for Christmas. I didn’t really get into ARCs, but I basically did the same thing in spending much of 2009 acquiring every title I thought sounded good. I’ve not been really in the mood to acquire new things since about April or May! Even at BEA, I wanted to come home with fewer than 10 books…sigh. So no, you’re not alone.

    • Rachel December 2, 2010 at 10:47 am #

      I’m glad it’s not just me. I think when you’re a book person, we don’t wait for holidays to ask for books because they are a priority kind of purchase. If we want something, we’ll get it because it doesn’t seem like a luxury – it’s just part of normal spending and reading habits. BEA was part of my problem though. I came home with 70 books, so buying new books? Not really necessary.

  3. Greg Zimmerman December 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    You know, my book wishlist is really, really tiny this year, too. I think it has something to do with the fact that since about mid-October, there has been hardly ANYTHING interesting or noteworthy to come out. What’s going on? Is it a publishing-industry-wide slump? But I have plenty to catch up on, too – Matterhorn, The Lonely Polygamist, and of course, that damn Millenium Trilogy I’ve been putting off for so long…

    • Rachel December 2, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      I agree re: not much coming out. There’s been a few things that have gotten really mixed reviews, even though the publishers are hyping them a lot. I also don’t think I’m that in the mood for more complex or high-brow fiction – and this tends to be the season for that. And I already bought the new John Grisham 🙂

  4. Kerry December 2, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    My wishlist is usually tiny, but more because out of ALL of the books I know I want to read, I can’t really decide which books I want to ask for immediately. I’m generally struck with the same indecision when faced with a bookstore, or a gift card to a bookstore, or a great bookstore coupon.

    Great books for giving, too!

  5. Stephanie December 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    What a fun post! Skippy Dies is on my Christmas wishlist too. I have about 30 books on my list, but that is one of the few that I want more than any other. As for buying books, the only person I bought books for this year is my husband. One of the three books I bought him is The Year of the Flood, so I can read it myself. Sneaky, sneaky!

  6. Megan December 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    On the NYT 100 Notable for 2010, the only one I’d be able to recommend to you would be FREEDOM. Also read The Corrections if you haven’t.
    As for my own list, I simply request B&N gift-cards from friends and then I buy what I love. However, if you really wanna be a risk-taker, request that they give you a book that they’d think you’d enjoy reading.
    Thank goodness for gift receipts 😉

  7. Morgan Mccarthy December 29, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    My wishlist is usually tiny, but more because out of ALL of the books I know I want to read, I can’t really decide which books I want to ask for immediately. I’m generally struck with the same indecision when faced with a bookstore, or a gift card to a bookstore, or a great bookstore coupon. Great books for giving, too!

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